Rules full of Errors and Confusion
An Opinion by Jan Bergemann 
Posted 11 - 8 - 2002
Only if you're trying to hide something or want to rig elections, you would create rules and ballots like the ones the Chimney Lake board of directors is trying to enact. 

Obviously with the help of CAM Ruth Darlington, an employee of Property Management Systems, Inc. and the law firm of Jeffrey Tomassetti, the board has published a new proxy  for the upcoming annual meeting on December 3, 2002. Since last year even a temporary injunction didn't stop the elections - it was later dismissed because of formalities - this year they want to make sure that nobody will be able to check proxies and ballots. So, how many proxies will be declared invalid this year without explanation? For every outsider it seems pretty obvious that they are trying to avoid under all circumstances that the elections will bring a change in the board membership. Not only does it look like the current board has quite a few things to hide, difficult if they would lose the power, but as well the "supportive cast", management company and law firm, must be afraid of losing a good account. That's why everybody in charge seems to try desperately to avoid any kind of possible mishap - meaning a change of officers of the board!

But this is not the only trick they had up their sleeve. Suspecting that they would lose the Small Claims Court Case regarding producing official asssociation documents, they published some new rules regarding Inspections and Copying of Records . The obvious problem : some of the Statutes (FS 607.1602(3) + 671.1602(4) ) quoted as referrals are non-existing according to the Florida Statutes or are not applicable. These "experts", who actually get paid good money, should have found out by now that this association is regulated by FS Chapter 720 (Homeowners' Associations). And since FS 720.303 even spells out the official records - one by one - further rules should not be necessary, if not intended to confuse the homeowners, especially by quoting false statutes. Or do certain people think that adding statute numbers into the rules would make it look more official? 

We already saw more of these pretty useless "regulations". Remember the letter by attorney Jeffrey Tomassetti regarding video-taping of board meetings? 
Or the "Conduct of Residents"?
It is just amazing what some minds are coming up with. And all at the expense of the Chimney Lake homeowners. 

But it could well be that one of their "inventions", the Ethics agreementof the board, passed in a "Special Board Meeting" on September 13, 2001, will backfire at just the same people who actually proposed and voted for it. It was obviously intended to serve one specific purpose; to remove elected board member Lars Jettman from his position on the board. Was he asking too many questions nobody was willing to answer?
The amendment to the bylaws , filed on January 15, 2002, contains among many other items a paragraph that might be very critical in the near future.

(F)   Accountability Ethics: (3)   Any Board member under investigation for a felony will take a leave of absence from the Board of Directors during the investigation and trial period. Any Board member convicted of a Felony will voluntarily resign from his/her position as a member of the Board of Directors.
Recent developments, making the former secretary of Chimney Lakes, a single mother with two children, homeless, seem to lead to criminal investigations in regards to certain deals involving board members, attorney and former manager. Police and D.A.'s office have been informed and some very interesting documents have been handed to the investigating officers. Please stay tuned for this new development, another chapter in the ongoing problems of Chimney Lake.